Sadio Mane says he is back on track after his roller-coaster campaign

Sadio Mane

 

Sadio Mane admits that he has suffered a roller-coaster campaign after being punished in a one-on-one clash with goalkeeper Ederson in their 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in September.

After his three-match suspension, Mane received a hamstring injury and looked short of confidence for several weeks.

When asked whether his red card affected him, “Yeah, it was not my wish but it happened.”

“It was tough on me but it is part of football and can happen. I never doubted how I could help the team and I never stopped working hard every day in training.

“I always tried to remain balanced, even when it was not working, because it is my job and I have to do it.

“I don’t know how to describe it but it can happen to every single player and in my mind I was relaxed that it will change.”

Jack Butland not moving to Liverpool FC despite claims he is leaving Stoke City

Jack Butland

 

Stoke City’s Jack Butland has been rumoured to a transfer to Liverpool FC but this was later denied by the goalkeeper and said that he is putting his focus on the club.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also admitted that he was having a hard time deciding between Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet as his first choice.

But Butland denied the claims that he wants to move to Liverpool and that he did not ask his club if he could leave them so that he can transfer to Liverpool.

“Before this spread any further, I haven’t told the club I want to leave, I’m focused on doing everything I can to keep the club in this division,” Butland wrote on his Twitter account.

Liverpool are bound to be linked with numerous players as clubs prepare for the summer transfer window.

 

Jurgen Klopp refused to accept Liverpool’s place in the quarter-finals

Jurgen Klopp

 

Jurgen Klopp refused to accept that Liverpool have one foot in Champions League quarter finals despite their great win against FC Porto 5-0.

Liverpool dominated their game against FC Porto in Portugal and effectively killed a possible tie ahead of their game with them again at Anfield on March 6.

Klopp will be able to rest some of his key players four days before an important game against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Klopp also insisted that they will not go easy on Porto when asked if the last 16 tie was over/

“No, of course not. Why should I think that.”

“We came here to create the basis for the second game at Anfield, no more no less.

“I’ve said many times I’m too long in the business to think anything is sorted before the final whistle is done.

“We owe our supporters at Anfield a 100% performance and that’s what we want to deliver. That’s all.”

Can Liverpool progress in the knockout stages of the Champions League

Jurgen Klopp

 

Liverpool will walk out at FC Porto’s Estadio do Dragao next Wednesday and this will be the first time in nine years that they have been involved in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

But can they handle it? Jamie Carragher shares his insights about the long wait and he only has positive things to say about Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Jamie Carragher

“It has been too long,” Carragher said.

“Over the years when I was playing maybe we took it for granted getting to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

“Now only when you’ve been away for so long, you appreciate how big a thing it is.

“Hopefully the manager and the lads can help us keep moving forward and get through that Porto tie.

“Then you’ve got the excitement of the draw and it keeps the season going in terms of a trophy still being up for grabs.”

“Yes, Liverpool are big outsiders this season,” Carragher said.

“But this team is better than the Liverpool team I played in that won the Champions League in 2005.

Liverpool

 

“It will be tough against Porto but it’s a winnable tie and if we get through that who knows what could happen.

“With all the talk about getting into the top four and qualifying for the Champions League for next season, we shouldn’t forget that we’re still in the competition this season.

“I’m going over to Portugal myself next week and hopefully we can get a good result and see where it takes us.”

“I never moved clubs so I don’t know what it’s like to go back somewhere, but I don’t think it’s nice when a whole crowd turns on you,” Carragher said.

“Their fans have got that many options it won’t just be one they’re targeting! Lovren gets stick down there so Van Dijk won’t be alone and I’m sure he can handle it.

“Southampton are down there but I think player wise they have probably got the best team out of the clubs that are down there.

“They still play some really good football. Tottenham only got a draw there a few weeks ago.

“With Arsenal playing Tottenham this weekend, one of those clubs is going to drop points and Liverpool have to capitalise by getting a win.”

“It’s very tight. Liverpool have had a couple of opportunities to create a gap of four or five points and they haven’t taken them,” Carragher said.

“The worry is that Tottenham in recent years have had a great second half of the season. Being out of the FA Cup, even though you don’t like it, that could be a help for Liverpool.

“We’ve still got to go to Goodison, Old Trafford and Chelsea but I still fancy us to get top four. If Liverpool achieve that if will have been a great job by Jurgen Klopp to get Champions League football two years running.”

Premier League club fight to sign Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij

Stefan de Vrij

 

Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij has been linked with a move away from Italy for over a year now as his contract is set to expire on June.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are in for another race to sign the 26-year-old.

Lazio, however, are confident that they will be able to give a new contract to De Vrij which will also contain a release clause of around £20 million.

In the current market, the fee is a good bargain and the top Premier League clubs are all to chase the striker.

There is news though that the Premier League trio are also aware that De Vrij is likely to agree to the new contract Lazio will give him in the coming weeks.

Stefan de Vrij is also attracting Juventus but prefers a move to England instead.

 

Van Dijk says he can handle criticism over his £75m transfer

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool

 

Virgil van Dijk who recently transferred to Liverpool said that he is unfazed by his critics after his £75 million price move away from Southampton.

Van Dijk made a record-breaking deal at the beginning of the January transfer and has experienced a mixed start to life at his new club.

Under the spotlight after his big-money move, Van Dijk insisted that he can cope with the scrutiny associated with his big money transfer.

Virgil van Dijk

 

“I know because I made such a big step, for a lot of money, everything is going to be analysed,” Van Dijk said.

“No one is going to look at the good things you do. Everybody is going to watch the bad things and that is how it is.

“But I will discuss it with the people who want to make me better, who can make me better, and that is the manager and the players around me. If they think it is right then that is the way forward.

“It is a strength of mine to not really bother too much when people have their opinions, especially negative opinions. I know when I am doing it well and exactly when I am doing it wrong.

“No one will talk about my performance [against Spurs] in general. We defended very well, had two penalties against us with a lot of question marks around them, but no one is going to talk about that. But I know that as a team we did very well against one of the best strikers in Europe [Harry Kane].”

How long will does Jurgen Klopp have until Liverpool supporters gives him criticism

Jurgen Klopp

 

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher offer their assessment on Jurgen Klopp’s trophyless tenure and when he would receive criticism from Liverpool supporters.

Gary Neville directed the question to former Reds defender Jamie Carragher on a special edition of “The Debate” on Thursday.

Klopp’s two-year reign has no doubt improved the club but the Merseysiders have not lift silverware under the German boss.

Carragher believes that the pressure on Klopp will begin after 12 months if he remains empty-handed.

“With Jurgen Klopp I think there will be pressure this time next year depending on where Liverpool are,” he said. “But if he gets Champions League football this season I think it’s a very good season for Liverpool.

“You can talk about trophies and winning the Premier League, but Liverpool have got to get back to being a Champions League club.

“Liverpool have been in the Champions League twice in 10 years, and the only reason they got back in it was because they didn’t have European football that season.

“So if Klopp can get in it again this season, on the back of having had European football and how competitive the Premier League is now, that’s an achievement.

“Klopp is up against Jose Mourinho, who had Premier League experience when he went to Manchester United, Arsene Wenger, who has been here for 20 years and Mauricio Pochettino who was in the Premier League before.

“So if he can secure Champions League football in his first two full seasons will be really good job. But, of course, he has to take it further and go and win trophies.

“I’ve criticised Wenger for being in the top four for so long and not taking the next step to the league or the Champions League.

“If Klopp is still getting in the top four in four or five years’ time but is no closer to the title or the Champions League, that won’t be good enough.

“But right now, if he can turn Liverpool into a team that play in the Champions League year in, year out, along with picking up trophies, Liverpool fans will be more than happy.”

 

Liverpool prepare a move for Brazilian starlet Luan

Gremio striker Luan

 

Jurgen Klopp is reportedly preparing a move for Brazilian starlet Luan with Liverpool entering discussions with Gremio.

Luan has caught the attention of a couple of Premier League clubs as he was able to score eight goals in 12 appearances with the 24-year-old being named the player of the year for the 2017 Copa Libertadores where Gremio won.

The Gremio forward is capable of playing as a central striker but can also be deployed as a second line of attack. He was also recently voted as South American Player of the Year.

Luan signed an improved three-year contract with Gremio in November and assured Gremio president Romildo Bolzan that he “would never leave without a favourable renewal of his situation.”

“He has now kept his word. In addition, it demonstrates that we are willing to keep our players and our important values, especially those formed at home.

“This shows how important our youth policy, technical policy and sports policy is in making Gremio increasingly competitive. We will celebrate this moment.”

Liverpool may still insist over the transfer of the Brazil international since he still has a release clause of €18 million with the South American champions which the Reds could pay.

Jurgen Klopp apologised after fan confrontation

Jurgen Klopp apologised for an altercation with a Swansea City fan during Liverpool's shocking defeat on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp press conference

 

Klopp’s team had their 14-game unbeaten Premier League run to an end with their 1-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Monday.

The German boss said he had reacted to a fan who was goading him during the clash.

“He was shouting at me all the time,” Klopp said.

“Sorry, I reacted one time, I remind myself I am a human being and not a professional manager who takes that all the time and they can say whatever they want.

“At one point, I said ‘please’. I had not a recorder like you so nobody taped it, nobody could hear what he said. That’s fine. That’s how it is. I have no problem with that.

“I just had one moment where I thought ‘now, that’s enough’. I’m not sure if we were already 1-0 down, I think we were, but it had nothing to do with it, but only enough.”

Liverpool are now fourth in the table, three points behind Chelsea.

Klopp acknowledges that his reaction with the fan was nothing bad, but should still not have reacted.

“I’m sure I’m not the first manager. I think he’s a season-ticket holder,” he said.

“It’s my fault as well; I shouldn’t have reacted. But I didn’t say anything bad, only that I showed I wasn’t too happy by what he was saying all the time.”

Daniel Sturridge insists he wants to transfer from Liverpool to Sevilla

Daniel Sturridge

 

Daniel Sturridge wants to move to Sevilla from Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp wants to only consider an offer for their England striker if it contained an option for a permanent deal at the end of the loan contract.

Liverpool want a transfer fee of around £25 million but they could also prepare a loan period with a guarantee of a payment in the summer.

Reports are suggesting that the 28-year-old has already told Liverpool that he wants to move to Sevilla and not to Inter Milan as they approach closer to a transfer fee.

Klopp has already agreed that the striker can leave but only if the funds raised for his transfer would allow them to find a permanent replacement in the summer.